PvP, or Player vs. Player in laymen’s terms, is a web-comic turned Image comic. Scott Kurtz has gained so much fame in the small-world press of web comics, that he has successfully turned his work to the big boys of a 22 pager, and we are up to issue 8, so something has got to be working for him.
PvP is a book like Dork Tower, or Knights of the Dinner Table, where it is hard to write about how the narrative goes, because it is broken up into many 4 panel comic strips. Each comic book usually covers two or three minor sub-plots.
This one outright calls John Edward’s a crook, and has our favorite troll, Skull being sought after as a dating commodity. That’s just being vague about the plots too, because each strip brings a small joke that gives you a laugh. Not a tears-to-heaven, ‘I just saw a guy get hit in the nuts with a rake and am going to send the video to Bob Saget’ kind of laugh, but a laugh nonetheless.
Kurtz even goes off and knocks himself a bit, with the point that PvP was initially conceptualized as a comic about gamers and the gaming community, but because his strips more deal with their interpersonal relationships they have lost focus. I laughed at that more than anything, as for the next few strips the characters are shown holding Playstation controllers for no apparent reason.
So, for a cohesive story, don’t read this. For something to pick up and giggle at, and has the same kind of rereadability that a book of Gary Larsen jokes does, grab it.
Again, with a strip like this, it’s hard to even grade it. Each issue shows consistency in form and structure. No dramatic angles. No sweeping landscapes. No two page splash spreads. Just four panel comics.
I will say that in some of the earlier issues, Kurtz had some artist renderings of his characters which were great to look at. Frank Cho and similar have lent a hand in doing their spin on his characters, and I do miss that.
If you want to read the unabridged versions of the exploits of these characters, I would definitely suggest going to PvPonline.com. It’s my favorite kind of comic, the one that is fun to read. Don’t expect Frank Miller or Alan Moore out of it though, it’s not meant for that.